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My Patchwork Pillow

April 30th, 2004

Yesterday I pieced together a patchwork pillow. I haven’t stuffed it yet. We have to buy stuffing still.

A few months ago Master and I went to Wal-Mart and we bought a sewing machine and some quilting squares and thread. I taught myself how to load the bobbin and then pushed it aside and didn’t touch it again. It sat in our spare bedroom gathering dust.

Two days ago, Master told me to clean out the spare bedroom and decide which desk I would use as a sewing table and which one I would take apart and put away. So I made myself a little sewing corner in the spare bedroom. Even added little touches of myself. My huge stuffed turtle is in one corner and my mother’s baby rocking chair in the other. In the rocker is the teddy bear my stepdaughter bought for me and the purple Tweety Bird Master bought for me.

The room isn’t my own. Master has His corner (in which the tool cabinet and a few boxes of computer stuff reside), and directly behind me is the St. Andrew’s Cross that Master built. This is how it should be as a slave owns nothing. It’s just a little space that I can go to to put together pieces of fabric into some sort of pattern. So back to my patchwork pillow.

It’s made of hunter green and tan gingham and is meant only to be a throw pillow. The night before last I cut the quilting squares we bought into smaller squares and formulated a pattern. Then I put it aside claiming that had been difficult enough and I would finish it another day.

Yesterday, I sat at my little sewing table in my little corner of the spare bedroom and I pieced together each little square in a pattern. I carefully measured every piece so that the each square would be exactly the same size and the pillow would have some sort of symmetrical shape. I checked to make sure the pattern was the same on the front and the back and that it wouldn’t look stupid.

I worked from the inside so that only the seams would show and not the stitches and extra fabric. And then I put both pieces together leaving an opening for the stuffing and turned it right side out. Alas, even with my careful and painstaking planning, my pillow came out crooked.

I’m a perfectionist so naturally I got frustrated. I talked about nothing but how stupid it looks and how I messed up. Even went so far as to say Master’s biased and that’s why He thinks it looks good. He’s too nice to say “rayne that looks stupid” and get me more discouraged than I already am.

I didn’t stop and think “Well, this was my first time. I’ll do better next time. And the time after that, I’ll do even better. And eventually, it will be perfect. Or at least as close to it as I can get.” I didn’t factor in that I’m human and humans make mistakes. And I completely ignored the fact that Master said it looked good.

I know. Boring. But here’s the real point of my story. Oddly enough, last night I had a dream about my patchwork pillow. If you don’t know by now, I put a lot of stock into my dreams since most dreams are affected directly by your emotions and thoughts and fears. And this one was particularly interesting.

In my dream, the pieces of my patchwork pillow were pieces of my life. There weren’t pictures on them or anything, I just knew this. And I knew what each one represented. I carefully cut the squares to make up the pattern my life would take. Painstakingly put them in the order that they needed to be in. Somehow knew which piece represented which part of my life. And slowly but surely, taking great care to make the outcome beautiful and balanced, sewed each piece to the next until my pillow was complete.

In my dream, however, when I was about halfway through my pillow, I found some stuffing in the closet, of all places. In case you can’t guess, the stuffing represents something I need to make me whole. What fills the gap that I can’t fill as a single person. The substance in my life. my “other half” so to speak. Master.

I went about working diligently at finishing my pillow. I stuffed it and sewed it closed, completing it with great satisfaction. And then, when I set it down, and stepped back and looked at it, it was crooked. Master told me it was perfect. That the little mishaps gave it character and made it my own. And I threw a tantrum.

The stuffing was perfect. It was deserving of a much better cover. I couldn’t believe I had messed up that badly. And it couldn’t be fixed. It was ruined.

Until I sat here and typed this out, I wasn’t completely sure what my dream meant. We rarely know what our dreams mean unless we analyze them. And even then, we don’t always get the meaning right. Hell, I’m lucky if I can remember my dreams in their entirety. This one must have affected me enough even in my subconscious mind to keep it with me well after I woke up.

First, I must make mention of the most recent occurrences in my life. A week ago, today, Master and I had a huge falling out and I was forced to reevaluate my behavior and the way I’ve treated Him. And, as usual, I found myself lacking. Only this time I found flaws that I didn’t even know I had. This time I actually paid attention to what I was doing wrong. And I buried myself in depression.

What I realized is, I was bitching about things that I didn’t like or that hurt my feelings or that made me feel unwanted, but all those things either I did as well, or I caused. For example, my biggest complaint has been that He doesn’t believe in me. But 1) I have done nothing but show that I can’t be trusted or behave and 2) I don’t even believe in myself.

When I was forced to look at these flaws, instead of getting off my ass and trying to fix them, I started wallowing in self pity. I grew depressed and overly obsessed with making myself shine. I started behaving but it’s easy to behave when you don’t see any worth in yourself. When you’ve drawn inside yourself and react only to what you’re told to do. And maybe that’s where I need to be for a while. Obsessed with making myself shine for Him and reacting only to what I’m told to do and not reacting to something I don’t like or something that bothers me. At least until it becomes habit and I’m a good girl. But I also forgot a few things that are very important.

1) While self worth is important, the opinion that really matters is Master’s and I know Him well enough to know that He only ever owns what He feels to be the very best.

2) Master thinks that I am worth something.

3) When Master looks at me, He may see a mess, but He thinks that mess is beautiful.

4) Master doesn’t think I’m ruined.

So while I’m spending each day, each minute, each second carefully planning what I’m going to say or do, how I’m going to behave, whether or not I’m going to react badly to something I have no control over, I’m also going to remember that Master loves me. And that as long as I’m making an effort, no matter how much I struggle, if I show improvement, things can be fixed. I am not ruined. *We* are not ruined. And we will make it through. 

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